It's one thing to predict the winners and losers at WWE's Roadblock: End of the Line, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?
WWE has announced 6 different matches for Roadblock, excluding the pre-show match between Big Cass and Rusev.
Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 6 segments rank on the Roadblock card, ordered from most important to least important.
- Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
- Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
- Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho
- Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman
- Swann vs. Perkins vs. Kendrick
- New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.
The top two matches are both potential main events for the show.
After that, Rollins and Jericho are comfortably in third place because they are always positioned in key time slots and talking segments on Raw, and are among the top pushed male performers on the brand. Their match will likely get more time than any of the other matches beneath them on the list.
Zayn and Strowman get the edge over the others due to this week’s segment on Raw where Foley got Zayn fired up after a teased trade to SmackDown Live. That segment gave Zayn’s match an extra sense of urgency that isn’t present in the tag team or cruiserweight championship matches.
New Day’s match ends up last because it was added later in the week and we’ve already seen New Day retain their titles over Cesaro’s team multiple times. This match doesn’t feel like an escalation of their feud; it’s more like a necessary addition to the card to fill out time.
The main event match is not clear, and this appears to be a typical coin flip situation between two options.
Sasha’s match seems to be the better choice for a myriad of reasons. Her feud with Charlotte encompasses more personal hatred, it’s the culmination of a lengthy feud, and their storyline is more interesting.
But there’s always the gender issue that works against them, and that’s the main reason why it’s a coin toss between Sasha’s match and Roman’s match.
The other reason is that Roman’s match features the top two male singles champions on the brand, and Vince might think it is a bad look for a match featuring two champions to not main event the card.
Ultimately I am going with Owens and Reigns for the main event. They are the featured performers on the WWE’s web page for Roadblock, and their match is listed ahead of Sasha’s. Vince might think it is good enough that the women main evented Hell in a Cell 2016, and perhaps some voices who had his ear back in October might not be around this time to sway him.
The opening match is usually one of the mid-level attractions that doesn’t require a dedicated video package ahead of time to hype it up. The four matches not in consideration for the main event could all potentially end up in this slot.
A match with two top stars like Jericho and Rollins doesn’t usually go on first, but I think it has a better-than-expected chance this time because the booking of Jericho’s finish could lead to some backstage interactions with Kevin Owens throughout the show, so it might be best to get Jericho’s match out of the way early.
Zayn and Strowman is probably the weakest choice of the 4 matches to open the show. This is not the kind of faster-paced match that WWE typically places in the opening slot, and this match lends itself well to a pre-match dedicated video package that the opening match rarely receives.
Rich Swann’s match definitely bring the work rate, but I’m not sure if WWE is sold on any of the personalities in the ring to keep the fans hyped up throughout.
New Day’s match doesn’t need a video package. It also brings both the work rate and the personalities, so it’s the choice I’m going with. I generally don’t pick the least important match of the night as the opener, but this one checks off the rest of the boxes better than the previous three options. And these four guys are good enough to create a high sense of importance to the match as it goes on.
That gives me the following card:
Segment 1: New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Segment 6: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
Sasha’s match is most likely to end up in Segment 4 or Segment 5.
The women’s match is going to be 30 minutes long. And it seems to me that KO’s match has a decent chance to go 20 minutes due to the lack of matches on this card.
I looked back through all 51 WWE PPV events since 2013 and I can only find 9 cards that finished the night with two consecutive matches of 17+ minutes in length. 3 of those 9 cards were Royal Rumble events. WWE does do this occasionally, but it seems to me that there is a better chance that a shorter match is thrown in between Charlotte’s match and Roman’s match. Therefore I’m putting Charlotte and Sasha in Segment 4.
Segment 2 is usually one of the shortest matches of the night, but Segment 5 is also going to be short given my assumption of a shorter match between the two main events. Sami’s match should end up in one of these slots, because it will probably be the shortest match of the night. The match does feel somewhat important, so I don’t think WWE will have it die a death in Segment 5 after the really heated women’s match.
Therefore I’ll throw Sami into Segment 2, with the Cruiserweights getting the death slot in Segment 5.
That leaves Jericho and Rollins for Segment 3.
So here is my final prediction for the match order at Roadblock: End of the Line, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times.
Segment 1: New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus (12 minutes)
Segment 2: Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman (2)
Segment 3: Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho (15)
Segment 4: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair (30)
Segment 5: Swann vs. Perkins vs. Kendrick (11)
Segment 6: Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns (23)
That's my prediction for the match order at Roadblock. What's yours?